Commission: Hudson GoGo Tractor in 16mm/ft…

I absolutely love building large scale models from scratch and whilst this latest commission is a little smaller than my usual 7/8ths it still has real presence and has been a lot of fun to produce…

It is based upon an example preserved but not restored at Amberley and has featured on the blog plenty of times over the last 6+ months. A true modern scratch-build it combines modern techniques such as 3D printing and laser cutting with traditional kit bash and scratch built elements. The result, I hope, is a seamless creation that breathes character.

Under the hood lurks a custom laser cut chassis using Slaters wheels and a gear head motor driving through Delrin chain to each axle. This is controlled through a Loco-Remote Wi-Fi controller hidden at the back of the chassis and powered by a Lipo battery hidden in the cab behind the seat. There is not ,inch space for any if this and it has been packaged tightly to allow maximum detail and the ability to replace parts for servicing of ever required.

Up top, so to speak the body uses a die-cast toy tractor that has been heavily butchered to provide a detailed and heavy engine bay. The side frames, buffers, roof supports and roof are 3D printed to my own design. The former is in resin for detail and the latter 3 items all nylon for resilience. The remaining bodywork is scratch-built in styrene with bolt and river detail added from Cambrian and MENG. Cab controls are a mix of scratch and the bits box with a few controls from the die-cast tractor.

The model is painted in Humbrol enamels and a pale sea grey was chosen for the base shade. This was worked up with weathering using a mix of Humbrol 62, 98 and 33 to represent rust and paintwork damage. I find even in the larger scales that this sort of effect is best added in paint rather than textures. The results are finished with dry brushed and stippled 53 gun metal and some exhaust with the airbrush.

To give this lovely model a train to haul my customer also requested a trio of Slaters WDLR skips which are injection moulded kits that assemble nicely with patience and some filling to heavy looking models. These too were finished in a grey, but darker this time. Weathering varies from light to battered across the three examples!


Overall I was very excited to hand these over to my customer a few weeks ago, and he was very pleased indeed with this, a bit of a personal project for him. They brought back fond memories, as the best model making should do - and I hope we can do more work in the future.

I love creating these one off models. If you have a prototype you’d like to give the ‘James Hilton’ treatment then get in touch to discuss your requirements. I work in all scales and gauges, all prototypes, and to your budget - to some extent - you can reach me via the form on the website here or by Facebook where there is a link to email me (you don’t need a Facebook account). The link for this is on my Modelmaking Commissions page. In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed these pictures, I certainly have enjoyed looking back at this project. More soon…

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  1. Wow! This is awesome! I have a neighbor running a LGB track (1:22.5 scale on a 45 mm track), now building a live steam tram, these big models are something extraordinary! Love the weathering, still have to learn a lot - even for my TT scale :-)

    1. Thank you. We learn through craft, the practice. It is informed from observation yes, and some ideas about how it occurred too, but also, it comes from the heart, when you love trains you want to make great models.


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